ABC Refinery ATO, which stands for Assaying Technical Operations, works hard to ensure maximum purity and quality of every precious metal they pull from underneath the earth’s surface. ABC Refinery ATO has a yearly refining capacity of more than 100 tonnes.
ABC Refinery ATO explains that the removal of gold from the ground is just the first step of a rather extensive extraction process. In order to truly isolate the purest gold, large chunks of rocks must be meticulously broken down into much smaller pieces. These pieces must then be transferred to a mill. ABC Refinery ATO has mills and large machines known as crushers that are able to work pieces down into pieces that are not much bigger than road gravel. Once the earth has reached this size, it’s time to enter rotating drums that are filled with steel balls. These drums work the material into a coarse powder. This powder is then mixed with water to thicken it to a pulp that is ready for a leaching tank.
The leaching process is where the purification process truly begins. Leaching dissolves gold out of the material through the utilization of a chemical solvent. Believe it or not, ABC Refinery ATO explains that the most common solvent is cyanide. In order to work properly, cyanide must be mixed with oxygen in a carbon-in-pulp process. The cyanide and oxygen reaction produce a chemical reaction that causes the gold to dissolve. Once the gold is dissolved, small carbon grains are added to the tank. Carbon grains attract the gold, so the gold will adhere to the carbon.
ABC Refinery ATO explains that it is now the time for the carbon to take a trip to a stripping vessel. The stripping vessel is where yet another chemical solution is utilized to separate the gold from the carbon. Screen filters are used to separate the carbon and it can be recycled. The final gold-bearing solution is called electrowinning. Electrowinning is how the gold is recovered from the chemicals. A special container is utilized so that a strong electro current can run through it. With positive and negative electric currents running through the container, all the gold will scientifically move to the negative terminals.
Another common method utilized by ABC Refinery ATO is smelting. Smelting involves a furnace that will reach around 2,100 degrees. This high heat will melt all materials present. Again, a chemical mixture is then utilized to separate the gold from metal and any other present materials. The purified gold can then be placed in molds to form bars that can be measured and quantified.